Academy of Ideas

Cosmopolitanism and sovereignty: what next for Europe?

March 31, 2017

According to Jean-Claude Juncker, ‘borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians’. For the president of the European Commission, transnational institutions like the EU are champions of cosmopolitanism. But is there really a contradiction between national sovereignty and internationalism? The cosmopolitan ideal, first conceptualised by Immanuel Kant, emerged in parallel with the rise of the nation state. Looking to the future of Europe, Frank Furedi explores the changing meaning of cosmopolitanism for European identity today, and asks how we might find a way to be European, openminded and outward-looking beyond the borders of the EU.

sociologist and social commentator; author, What’s Happened to the University?, Power of Reading: from Socrates to Twitter, and Authority: a sociological history

convenor, The Academy; author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination